McClendon Named Pirates' Manager

Monday, October 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Lloyd McClendon, the hitting coach on former Pittsburgh manager Gene Lamont's staff for four years, will be hired Monday as the Pirates' manager, The Associated Press has learned.

A source inside the Pirates organization, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that McClendon would be the next manager.

McClendon took an overnight flight to Pittsburgh from Phoenix, where he is managing in the Arizona Fall League, to be introduced at a 4 p.m. news conference.

McClendon, 41, a former Pirates player who hit .244 in an eight-year major league career, will become the fifth black manager in the major leagues, joining the Giants' Dusty Baker, the Cubs' Don Baylor, the White Sox's Jerry Manuel and the Brewers' Davey Lopes.

The Pirates are coming off a 93-loss season — their eighth consecutive losing season, the organization's longest such streak since the mid-1950s.

McClendon, known for his abilities to motivate and work with younger players, has no major- or minor-league managing experience, although he managed the Lancaster Stealth to the California League fall championship last year.

The Pirates have declined to comment publicly on their managerial search for nearly a week since they wrapped up 10 interviews, including those with former Arizona manager Buck Showalter and three major league bench coaches, Ron Wotus of San Francisco, Grady Little of Cleveland and Ken Macha of Oakland.

However, after the Pirates told some candidates, including Showalter, they would not get back to them until after the World Series, they began calling other candidates early Monday to tell them they had picked a new manager.

McClendon also had what he called an excellent interview with the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Pirates may have moved to prevent the Phillies from hiring him.

McClendon played in the majors for the Reds (1987-88), the Cubs (1989-90) and the Pirates (1990-94), hitting 35 homers with 154 RBIs in 570 games.

McClendon was enthusiastically supported by some Pirates players, including first baseman Kevin Young, who said he felt McClendon was the best man for the job despite his lack of experience.

Still, the decision may not please some Pirates fan unhappy the team has again hired from within the organization, as they did by promoting Lamont from third base coach to manager in 1997. Also, the Pirates chose not to hire an experienced manager as they move into new PNC Park next year, a decision that might not spur ticket sales.